Mike has been part of the Southern Cross Horticulture (SCH) team for two years and three months in the role of Machinery and Maintenance Engineer. Mike was the first employee of the contracting team after Russel Dunstan founded the contracting business unit. Mike is responsible for managing and maintaining all the SCH fleet. This includes all the on-road vehicles, off-road vehicles, hydraladas, tractors, trailers and extends to other equipment such as orchard pump systems at times. While Mike has been at SCH, the machinery fleet has increased by over 100 items which are looked after by the ever-growing contracting team.
Mike is a mechanical engineer by trade (fitter/turner and welder), specialising in maintenance fitting. Mike’s diverse skill set is used in his role in a variety of ways. His role involves managing the SCH machinery maintenance programme, machinery safety, machinery repairs, machinery modifications, setting up new gear and training SCH team members on how to safely use and maintain machinery.
Mike says his journey at SCH has allowed for significant professional development, through improving his time management, communication, team management, and people skills. Mike describes the SCH culture as “a supportive team and a place where we all look out for each other”, he credits the People and Culture (P&C) team for “doing a great job at hiring people with good hearts”. Mike’s favourite part of working at SCH is the variety his role entails and the relationships he has built with the wider SCH team. Mike jokes that his work mates would describe him as “a bit nutty” and as “someone that likes to have fun at work, is approachable, a people person, and someone who likes tools”.
What is something that other employees at SCH will not know about Mike? Although being a considerable people person, Mike doesn’t like public speaking and is actually quite shy. Mike also has an almost 21-year-old son.